There has been a great deal of controversy in recent years about conflicts of interest in the health care industry, particularly with regard to payments made by pharmaceutical companies to physicians for consultation on new drugs. In order to promote transparency in this area, Congress passed the Physicians Payments Sunshine Act (Section 6002 of the Affordable Care Act), which requires applicable manufacturers to submit data about these kinds of financial relationships to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
This data will be posted online as part of the Open Payments program, and is scheduled to be publicly available no later than September 30, 2014. New data will be reported annually. For more information about the Open Payments program, see the CMS website.